Sons of Zion have well and truly earned their place in the upper echelons of New Zealand
From their humble Kiwi beginnings, to playing shows across the globe and dominating
charts, Sons of Zion have amassed an impressive 22 million streams on Spotify, more than
15 million views on Youtube and 100,000-plus followers on social media.
For members Rio, Sam, Joel, Matt, Ross, and Caleb, it’s a track record that has established
them as one the southern hemisphere’s most-loved and well-respected bands. This autumn
the band made their mark with latest single ‘Drift Away’. ‘Drift Away’ has been the #1 most
played song on New Zealand radio for 3 weeks running, achieving the #1 NZTop20 NZ Single
and almost 3 million streams and over 130,000 video views.
The track is featured on their brand new album ‘Vantage Point’, alongside a slew of their
other hits including ‘Now’ and ‘Is That Enough (Ft. Aaradhna)’ – both #1 NZ & Urban Airplay
Singles. Vantage Point hit #3 on the iTunes Album Chart, as well as entering the Billboard’s
Reggae Chart at #9.
Sons of Zion made their mark in 2009 with their self-titled debut album, following it up in
2013 with their full-length studio album ‘Universal Love’, which included the smash singles
’Be My Lady’, ‘Good Love’ and ‘Tell Her’ - the latter two songs achieving #1 Urban and #1 NZ
Airplay respectively. The hits continued to flow with ‘Stuck on Stupid’, ‘Fill Me Up’, ‘I’m
Ready’ and ‘Hungover’, winning over new and old fans alike.
The band, who write, record, produce and mix all of their music, doubled down and invested
in their very own studio in 2017. All their new material has been skilfully created in the
purpose-built Auckland space, which also became home to a few of the members as they
found themselves working around the clock, stealing only a few hours of sleep while putting
the finishing touches on the ‘Vantage Point’ record.
The studio is a one-stop shop for recording, music and TV production, which reveals a savvy
business-minded side to the boys from Sons of Zion.
“We’re really proud of this place,” Rio says of the studio they’ve built and where they all
now work from. “We know how hard it is to be musicians and then to create a business
around it, it’s a lot of pressure. But we’ve just finished a year of business and the IRD’s not
after us,” he laughs.
It’s all part of the community-minded Sons of Zion ethos that’s helped them to grow a
massive fanbase. And it’s this love from all corners of the globe that’s seen the band clock up
tens of thousands of air miles over the last decade. A highlight from their explosive live set is
witnessing their un-rivalled musicianship, as much like in the studio between songs,
members seamlessly switch from vocals, to guitar to drums and then back again.
They’ve toured New Zealand more times than they can count and have also played sold out
shows across Australia, Tahiti, Japan, Rarotonga, Samoa and the US, and deemed
rock stars in places like Hawaii, thanks to their track ‘Stuck on Stupid’ taking out the honour
of being Island 98.5’s second biggest song of 2015.
Sons of Zion’s hard work and commitment to taking their music to their fans has established
them as one of the best live acts on the touring circuit. It’s a reputation reinforced by
surging live performances at some of biggest festivals around, including Homegrown, One
Love and Ragamuffin.
Their accolades include NZ On Air Best Music Video Award for Superman and nominations
for ‘Best Māori Urban Roots Album’, ‘Best Song By A Maori Artist’ and ‘Best Song Writer’ at
the Waiata Maori Music Awards.
You could crunch the numbers but with a band like Sons of Zion, the music speaks for itself.
And there’s no stopping them!